Getting Educated – A New Paradigm

Helen Vendler proposes a new baseline of cultural education in this year’s NEH Jefferson Lecture. “The day of limiting cultural education to Western culture alone is over. There are losses here, of course–losses in depth of learning, losses in coherence–but these very changes have thrown open the question of how the humanities should now be conceived, and how the study of the humanities should, in this moment, be encouraged. I want to propose that the humanities should take, as their central objects of study, not the texts of historians or philosophers, but the products of aesthetic endeavor: architecture, art, dance, music, literature, theater, and so on.”